Dominant First Half Leads Lynx To Historic Win

Mitchell Hansen
Web Editorial Associate

You could say the Minnesota Lynx got off to a bit of a hot start on Friday night in St. Paul.

But that would be an understatement.

Minnesota had a dominant first half and cruised to a 111-52 blowout win over the Indiana Fever in front of an announced crowd of 9,621 at Xcel Energy Center.

That 59-point win is the largest margin of victory in WNBA history.

“This says a lot about them, they just responded to a bit of a tough stretch,” Lynx head Cheryl Reeve said after the game. “The expectations are high on this team. . . We weren’t mistake free, but our effort and our energy and our communication was the same for 40 minutes.

“I loved everything about the game.”

The Lynx kicked off the game outscoring the Fever 37-9 in the first quarter, setting a new franchise record for the most points scored in a quarter.

They then went on to outscore Indiana 31-14 in the second quarter, getting out to a 68-23 going into halftime. Those 68 first-half points also set a new franchise record.

Oh, and in the middle of that dominant performance in the opening half, Minnesota went on a 37-0 run that spanned over 12 minutes and 59 seconds.

Nope, that’s not a typo.

“We were ready to respond. What you see on the scoreboard was a collective effort,” Maya Moore said. “It was fun to see everyone involved. This was truly a team win and something that will hopefully remind us of what we can be when we play together and locked in like that.”

Sylvia Fowles led the way for the Lynx, tallying 25 points and six rebounds. Renee Montgomery had 20 points (including five threes), Moore had 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, Seimone Augustus had 10 points, eight assists and three rebounds and Plenette Pierson had 10 points, 6 rebounds and four assists stepping into the starting lineup for the injured Rebekkah Brunson (left ankle).

“We just came in and refocused. We are down two of our starters, two of our captains (in Whalen and Brunson) and we knew that we had letdown games the last two losses,” Plenette Pierson said. “We just wanted to pick ourselves back up and start over. That’s what we did, we went out there and played our game and played our flow.”

The bench stepped up big in the win as well. Jia Perkins had 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Natasha Howard had six points and seven rebounds, Alexis Jones had eight points and four assists and Temi Fagbenle added six points and three rebounds.

Every Lynx player who played in the game ended up scoring.

“(Howard) came in and gave us some great minutes. Jia also came in and gave us some great minutes and hit some shots. We played great defense,” Alexis Jones said of the second unit. “We just came in and built off of our starters’ energy.”

Jazmon Gwathmey had 12 points and three rebounds and Candice Dupree had 11 points for the Fever. Briann January added eight points and three assists, Natalie Achonwa had seven points and four rebounds and Erica Wheeler finished with six points and three assists.

With the win, Minnesota improves to a WNBA-best 22-5 overall. Indiana drops to 9-20 on the season with the loss.

“This was one game and it was fun to be a part of,” Reeve said. “It was the way we did it. . . It was nice for them to have so much fun out there.”

Highlight Of The Game

The highlight of Friday night’s game is clearly the red hot first half from Minnesota.

The Lynx, which began the game on a 15-5 run in the first three minutes of play, held a run of 37-0 until the 3:30-mark in the second quarter.

The Lynx also tallied 37 points in the first quarter, which set a new franchise record.

Minnesota finished shooting 75 percent from the field in the first half, while Indiana shot 25 percent.

Not too bad, Lynx.

The Numbers Game

  • Along with setting a new franchise record for points in a quarter (37) and points in a half (68), the Lynx also set a franchise record for most field goals made in a half with 27 in the first half.
  • Minnesota’s 45-point halftime lead (68-23) was the largest in WNBA history.
  • The Lynx finished shooting 59.2 percent from the field in the game, while the Fever shot 30.6 percent.
  • Minnesota held a 52-16 advantage in points in the paint in the game.

Player Of The Game

Friday night’s Lynx Player of the Game goes to Sylvia Fowles.

Along with her team-high 25 points, Fowles went 9-of-12 from the field and shot 7-for-9 from the free throw line in the game. She also carried a plus/minus of plus-49 in over 23 minutes on the court.

Up Next 

The Lynx are back in action on Sunday when they travel to take on the New York Liberty at 2 p.m. at Madison Square Garden. The game will be aired on NBATV, WNBA League Pass, 106.1 BOB FM and TuneIn Radio.’